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Today in Labor History

Feb. 23, 1940
Woody Guthrie wrote “This Land Is Your Land” following a frigid trip—partially by hitchhiking, partially by rail—from California to Manhattan. The Great Depression was still raging. Guthrie had heard Kate Smith’s recording of “God Bless America” and resolved to himself: “We can’t just bless America, we’ve got to change it.”
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News Items - November 2015
Updated On: Dec 03, 2015

992 Update: New contract at Pacific Rail; talks with U.S. Silica continue
Nov. 3, 2015  | The second contract between Pacific Rail and Teamsters Local 992 was unanimously ratified recently. Additionally, the Local successfully bargained a Memorandum of Understanding giving the union card-check neutrality at a second plant in Green Castle, Penn., a rare achievment in today’s labor relations environment. Bargaining with U.S. Silica is ongoing. The company went to the table with a proposal that would in effect destroy more than a third of the contract rather than build on it. Bargaining continues at Cinetic Landis. Negotiations for a contract with Franklin County (Pa.) has moved to interest arbitration.

"Unions aren't needed anymore."
Nov. 3, 2015  | How how often have you heard that lately? Here's an excellent video reminder from our Canadian brothers and sisters that there's nothing new, and nothing true, about that all-too familiar line. Click here to watch.

House rejects highway bill amendment to allow heavier trucks
Nov. 4, 2015 | The House on Tuesday defeated an amendment to a $325 billion highway funding bill that would have let states decide whether they want to allow heavier trucks on their roads. The amendment would allow states to decide whether they want to increase a current limit of 80,000 pounds for cargo trucks to 91,000 pounds.  Proponents wanted to attach it to the highway bill in an attempt to end a bitter fight over truck weights that has raged for years in Washington. The proposal was rejected 187-236 in a House floor vote.

Tell Congress to vote NO on the job-killing TPP
Nov. 5, 2015  | If the TPP is approved by Congress, this awful deal would offshore good-paying American jobs and lower wages in the jobs that are left, increasing inequality by forcing Americans into competition with workers paid less than 65 cents an hour. Put simply: it stinks. The just-released TPP text is actually worse than we imagined. Here are just a few examples of how the TPP will undercut jobs and wages. Also, Hoffa says release of TPP text does little to allay workers' concerns about the deal.

New bill prevents harassment during labor disputes
Nov. 6, 2015  | On Thursday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill that will ensure the end of stalking and harassment during labor disputes. This law came about after Philadelphia Ironworkers union members intimidated people and vandalized property. A sponsor of the bill says that this will not affect peaceful labor disputes. However, Democrats are concerned that this law could affect freedom of speech rights among union members. Full story…

21 organizations fighting for labor rights in the food system
Nov. 19, 2015  | … In Tracy, California, Teamsters members are fighting poverty wages and severe violations of basic rights at Taylor Farms. And more than 11,000 Teamsters workers have united to defeat a mega-merger of U.S. Foods and Sysco, which would have jeopardized thousands of broadline food service and transportation jobs… Read more here.

High court rulings could affect workers
Nov. 20, 2015  | The future of workers on the job could be shaped significantly by a spate of causes set to be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court during its current term. And it is something more everyday Americans need to be aware of and consider. … The Teamsters represent about 273,000 public sector workers, and other union represent millions more. These government employees are everyday Americans just trying to earn a living and support their families. But that will be increasingly difficult if union rights are curtailed nationwide. Full story here.

Ford workers narrowly ratify UAW contract
Nov. 23, 2015  | Workers at Ford narrowly ratified the company’s four-year labor deal with the United Auto Workers, the labor union announced late Friday. A defeat for the contract could have left ford facing a strike for the first time in 39 years. The UAW had been looking to claw back some concessions that were made eight years ago to help the U.S. carmakers survive the recession. Industry Week








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Updated: Feb. 23 (18:05)

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